Journal of Business Ethics 29 (1-2):125 - 134 (2001)
|Abstract||A common financial model used in business decisions is the cost/benefit comparison. The costs of a proposed project are compared with the benefits, and if the benefits outweigh the costs, the project is accepted; if the costs exceed the benefits, the project is rejected. This model is applicable when tangible costs and benefits can be reasonably measured in monetary units. However, it is difficult to consider intangible factors in this model because intangible factors cannot be readily quantified in money.While some might argue that the financial model should not apply to healthcare decisions, the fact is that costs do enter into the picture. People may decide to forego needed healthcare because they cannot afford it. Healthcare providers may make choices based in part on the costs of diagnosis and treatment, rather than solely on medical information and what is best for the patient. Should financial issues enter into healthcare decisions – decisions about human health and well being? If so, how should the costs and benefits be measured and evaluated? What are some ethical issues and dilemmas involved in such decisions?|
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